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Business trends

Japanese restaurants cut working hours as labor shortage deepens

Major chains scrap year-round operations to keep workers happy

Sushiro, Japan's largest conveyor-belt sushi chain, said it will continue to close for two days in February every year to give employees more time off. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Major Japanese restaurant chains are scrapping year-round operations, as the industry tries to keep staff amid a deepening labor shortage.

Nagoya-based restaurant operator Kisoji recently announced it will close its 119 shabu-shabu hotpot restaurants across the country on May 7 and 8, which follows a 10-day holiday period known as Golden Week. A company spokesperson said it will be the first time the chain, which had always opened throughout the year, will be closed for an entire day.

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